Little Oxford Parent Guide
With Little Oxford, turn screen time into productive learning time, encouraging your child to enjoy books and build the skills they need to be ready for school and beyond.
There is advice on this page on how to use the app as well as guidance on using digital products with 3-5 year olds.
To find activities and ideas for supporting your child’s learning on the app (without spending more time on a screen), you can find lots of suggestions by clicking on the Pathway links below. These match the seven Pathways in the app so you can easily find things to do to support what your little one has been learning about:
How to use Little Oxford
Do it together
- The format works best if you interact with your little one and with the pathways as your child goes on their learning journey. Praise your little one when they complete an activity, talk with them to help them understand how to do the activities, sit with them to listen to and watch the interactive stories, or sing along together with the songs and nursery rhymes.
Back it up
- Alongside the app, there are a series of offline activities on this website, for you to enjoy with your little one. These further support their development and reinforce everything they learn while using the app. Find more detailed information about what is in each pathway, suggested activities to do together and links to buy the books by clicking on the pathway below:
- Healthy Happy me
- Get Talking
- Let’s Move
- Explore words
- Number fun!
- Get Creative
- Explore your World
- Consider buying some of the stories as traditional ‘real’ books, to reread together offline. This will reinforce the learning your child does while using the app, and you can talk about what happens in the stories together.
Be playful with it
- In line with best practice in the early years, the learning activities are playful and interactive, so that your child is playing, at the same time as they are learning. The more you join in and help your child using the app, the more enjoyable and effective your child’s learning will be.
Keep it short
- Use the app for short time periods, maybe listening to and watching one story book, or completing a few learning activities each time. Don’t worry about having to restart – your child’s progress is saved, so they restart from the point they reached last time when they return to the app.
- A handy ‘rule of thumb’ for the time your child should spend on the app in one session, is ‘their age plus 2’. This gives a chance for your child to hear a short story and complete a couple of the learning activities, or listen to one longer story.
- Set a timer when your child starts to play the app, so they understand what the short time feels like. This also gives you a reminder to bring their time on the app to a close and to do something together offline.
- Remember there is no need to rush through the learning pathways! Take things slowly, reinforcing the learning your child has done by playing together offline. The app is designed to take your child through the period of development from 3 to 5 years, so by taking it slowly it will last you a long time.
Advice on using digital products with under 5s
You can find official guidance from the DfE on how best to use digital products with young children. This is aimed at early years providers (like nurseries and childminders) but offers some practical ideas.
Our top tips are listed below.
Digital Top Tips
In an increasingly digital world, we need to support our little ones as they learn how to use digital devices well, and safely.
- Treat the digital world in the same way you treat any other environment your child experiences.
- Set clear boundaries and limit the total amount of time your child spends on screens to a maximum of an hour a day.
- Supervise your child while they are using screens.
- Share the games, activities and stories together to enhance your child’s learning and avoid using screens as a ‘digital babysitter’.
- Try to avoid using screens to calm your child down when they are upset or cross. Your child needs you to help them learn to self soothe, rather than distract them with a screen.
- Children learn best through two-way communication, so chat with your child about what you are doing as you use the app together.
More about reading and learning for 3-5s
Use the sections below to find out more about Phonics, learning to read and how you can foster a love of reading in your little ones.